What are the smoke detectors?
Smoke detectors, also known as the smoke alarms, are devices that detect smoke and signals to the fire alarm control panel of the building or set off their own self-contained alarm. Modern smoke detectors also have heat sensors to sense the high temperatures. When a smoke alarm detects smoke, it issues an audible alarm. Smoke detectors can be battery powered or powered by mains electricity.
There are two types of fire detectors (commonly put into a single smoke detector):
- Ionization smoke alarms
- Photoelectric smoke alarms
Ionization smoke alarms
These kinds of smoke alarms show a response to a flaming fire. Ionization smoke alarms consist of a small amount of radioactive material that is located between two electrically charged plates. When the smoke hits, the chamber flow of ions gets disrupted, which reduces the flow of current and activates the alarm.
Photoelectric smoke alarm
A Photoelectric smoke alarm uses light to detect the fire. When smokes enters its chamber, its light gets scattered due to smoke particles, scattered light triggers sensors and sensors activate the alarm.
Both ionization smoke alarms and photoelectric smoke alarms help us to save lives and prevent possible damage by providing an early signal. For better security, it is recommended that both types of smoke detectors should be installed at homes and offices. A combination of ionization smoke alarm and photoelectric smoke alarm in a single device is available in the market that can be installed at residential and commercial buildings.
Carbon monoxide is gas that has one oxygen atom and one carbon atom. The chemical symbol for carbon monoxide is CO. This gas gets produced as a result of incompletely burned carbon fuel like wood, fuel, coal, propane and heating oil. When you are burning any of these in a ventilated area, then there is no issue. This gas is hazardous in confined places like fully closed rooms, basement, kitchen or garage. Carbon monoxide is extremely deadly; it does not have any smell. That’s why you cannot detect this gas without a carbon monoxide detector. Once a person is exposed to carbon monoxide, it will bind their red blood cells, and his/her body will face a lack of oxygen. An exposed person will suffer from intense headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness. If the duration of exposure is for a long time, the exposed person will become unconscious. In Great Britain, there are almost 60 deaths reported each year due to accidental exposure of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors are helpful to avoid carbon monoxide poison. These alarms can be installed in homes and offices, the same as smoke detectors. A carbon monoxide detector activates the alarm when it senses a specific amount of carbon monoxide in the air. Most carbon monoxide detectors have following parts
Bio mimetic sensor: There is a gel in this part when it absorbs carbon monoxide. This gel changes its colour and this change in colour triggers the alarm.
Metal oxide semiconductor: There is a silica chip circuit, when this circuit detects carbon monoxide it triggers the alarm by lowering the electrical resistance.
Electrochemical sensor: A change occurs in electrical current when it is exposed to carbon monoxide; this change activates the alarm. Nowadays, you can get combined Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in one device. The chamber of the device has both detectors fitted in it.
Legal requirements for fire detection devices and fire alarm systems
By law all commercial and non-commercial buildings are required to have fire smoke alarms to alert and notify building occupants to take action in case of fire.
Based on business activities taking place in the buildings, smoke detecting devices should be installed in every room or on every storey of the property.
The UK Parliament has approved a law making it mandatory to have smoke and carbon detectors in every building. Landlords must install at least one smoke and one carbon monoxide detector in every building. A carbon monoxide detector is mandatory to install in the room having solid fuel-burning appliances like a coal fire, wood fire, stove etc. The landlord is responsible for making sure that these detectors are working fine, and he should arrange annual maintenance for these detectors.
Local authorities can fine up to £5,000 for noncompliance. A landlord is responsible for keeping the property safe and free from health hazards. Following safety rules must be followed by all landlords
- A landlord should make sure that gas equipment is correctly installed and well maintained by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer.
- A registered gas safety engineer has done an annual gas safety check (CP12).
- As a tenant you should be provided with a copy of the record of gas safety check when you move in.
- Each story has at least one smoke alarm
- The room used for solid fuel-burning is to have a carbon monoxide alarm
- There is an emergency exit in case of fire or any other incident
- Furniture and furnishing are fire safe.
A landlord should write a letter to tenants and explain all legal requirements to install or maintain the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If local authorities find out that the landlord has not complied with the regulations, a notice will be issued about the suspected breach and required action. But if a landlord proves that he has taken all the required steps, they will get an exemption from the civil penalty.
Bradwell is a Property Maintenance Company serving the Greater Manchester area. Bradwell can help you with fitting smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Why you should choose Bradwell Maintenance?
We have worked in Manchester city for four years and we have a lot of customers using our services to maintain their properties. In any emergency situation, we can provide you with a quick response. We are available for both short and long term projects. If smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in your buildings are not maintained for a long time, or you feel that there is any issue with the detector, you should call us, and we will be there quickly to ensure that you are your family is in safe hands.
To make the lives of your loved one safer, call us now at 0161 711 0997 or email us at email@example.com.
You can get quotes by calling or by email.